2005 Mas Que Vinos, Ercavio Blanco, La Mancha ($8.99) Airen is not one of those grape varieties that receive a lot of press. Here at Bodegas Ercavio, they have raised this lowly grape to a truly terrific wine. Blended with a bit of sauvignon blanc, this white wine is dry, fresh and crisp. Reminiscent of the kiwi style of Sauvignon Blanc, I love it as an aperitif. 2005 Finca Luzon, Luzon, Jumilla ($6.99) 88 points Parker: “The 2005 Luzon is a blend of 65% Mourvedre and 35% Syrah that exhibits a dark ruby/purple color in addition to loads of blackberry and cassis fruit, good ripeness and richness, decent acidity, and a freshness undoubtedly due to the vineyards' lofty altitudes of 2,000-2,300 feet. Consume it over the next several years.” 2004 Candela Carro, Murcia ($8.99) 89 points Robert Parker: “There are 6,000 cases of the 2004 Carro, a tank-fermented and aged, un-oaked blend of 50% Mourvedre, 20% Syrah, 20% Tempranillo, and 10% Merlot. It reveals terrific fruit intensity, copious black cherries and wild mountain berries, and notions of licorice, flowers, roasted meats, and chocolate. With supple tannin, low acidity, and abundant fruit, it is a joy to drink as well as a spectacular value. Consume it over the next 12-18 months. This estate is one of the top discoveries of all my tastings.” 2004 Mas Que Vinos, Ercavio Roble, La Mancha ($8.99) The 2003 sold out so fast that if you blinked, you missed out! The 2004 is even better—more length, depth and concentration. Made from 100% cencibel, the local name for tempranillo, this tinto is made using a blend of traditional and modern methods…spending some time in large clay amphoras known as tinajas and aged for five months in a mix of French and American oak. Full and fleshy, this red from La Mancha has plenty of ripe black cherry fruit and a long finish. Buen Provecho! —Anne Pickett, firstname.lastname@example.org
The daughter of a respected vigneron, 26-year-old Adèle Rouzé, a certified land appraiser, is following in her father’s footsteps producing wine. After her studies were finished and following a stint in Bordeaux Adèle came home with the idea of making her own wine. She works parcels of old vines some planted in the 1920s and 1930s and others around 1950, all south/south-east facing mostly on the left part of the Cher river in Central France. She cultivates only sauvignon blanc, using only natural products in the soil. Quincy is part of a large group of wine-growing regions in the eastern Loire Valley, not far from Menetou-Salon, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, known for bright racy sauvignons infused with minerality that are refreshing, slightly citric and always fun. The soils in Quincy are sandy with gravel, giving more immediate wines for drinking young, whites to enjoy in the first two or three years for all their snappy fresh, herbal goodness. Adèle’s entire production of the 2005 Adèle Rouzé Quincy ($14.99) , around 8000 bottles a year, fits into one tank where it is kept on its lees until bottling after one racking and a slight filtration. Enjoy! —Jeff Vierra
Edna Valley is much more than just the winery everyone knows about (whose wines I find rock-solid, and wonderfully priced!). There are other producers making terrific wine in this under-appreciated appellation. Tolosa Vineyards was one of the first families to plant grapes in Edna Valley, and for many years sold flawless fruit off their 720 acres to other producers. Only recently have they held back the top 10% of their crop to make a wine under their own label. Boy, am I glad they did! The 2004 Tolosa Edna Valley Chardonnay ($16.99) is every bit as yummy as Chardonnays from the Edna Valley appellation can be. There’s something about this region that produces a very distinct style of juicy, fresh, tropical fruity goodness. Call it terroir, call it predilection, but Tolosa’s hit the mark. Delightfully ripe and fresh, this light-golden liquid does wonders on the palate. Zesty and fresh, this Chard’s my pick for white of the season. As tradition suggests, a great Chard-making region often means a great Pinot Noir-making region, and the 2003 Tolosa Edna Valley Pinot Noir ($19.99) delivers on that promise. Floral, vibrant, with persistent dark cherry and plum flavors and a thoroughly enjoyable finish, this deserves a place at a dinner feast as epic as Gilgamesh. A stunning value for under $20! Now, if you end up liking these wines, I do have Tolosa Edna Valley Syrah ($190 per case) available for special order by the case. Email me at email@example.com if you’d like a box. Happy Turkey Day, and as always, enjoy! —Martin Reyes
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